The President signed into law the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act also known as the “Forever GI Bill,” which will bring significant changes to Veterans education benefits. The law is named after the American Legion national commander who wrote the original GI Bill language in 1944, and will allow more Veterans to use the GI Bill and give them more time to use it. Some of the changes will go into effect immediately, and some are written to go into effect shortly after.
Some new provisions that go into effect immediately include:
The 15-year time limitation for using Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits is eliminated for Veterans who left active duty on or after January 1, 2013, and qualifying dependents (Fry children who became eligible on or after January 1, 2013 and all Fry spouses).
Reservists who had eligibility under the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) and lost it due to the program sunset provision will have that service credited toward the Post-9/11 GI Bill program.
Certain work-study is permanently authorized; previously it had to be re-approved by Congress every few years.
The VetSuccess on Campus program will be available to students across the country
VA will help Veterans to more clearly identify schools that offer them priority enrollment
The majority of the changes enhance or expand education benefits for Veterans, Servicemembers, Families and Survivors. Consult your local Department of Veterans of Affairs office for further details.
If you’ve thought about going to college, but didn’t know if you could afford it, then the Military Tuition Assistance program may be just the benefit you need. The program is available to active duty, National Guard and Reserve Component service members. While the decision to pursue a degree may be a difficult one personally, TA can lessen your financial concerns considerably, since it now pays up to 100 percent of tuition expenses for semester hours costing $250 or less.
Courses and degree programs may be academic or technical and can be taken from two- or four-year institutions on-installation, off-installation or by distance learning. An accrediting body recognized by the Department of Education must accredit the institution. Your service branch pays your tuition directly to the school. Service members need to first check with an education counselor for the specifics involving TA by visiting their local installation education office or by going online to a virtual education center. Tuition assistance may be used for the following programs:
All four service branches and the U.S. Coast Guard offer financial assistance for voluntary, off-duty education programs in support of service members’ personal and professional goals. The program is open to officers, warrant officers and enlisted active duty service personnel. In addition, members of the National Guard and Reserve Components may be eligible for TA based on their service eligibility. To be eligible for TA, an enlisted service member must have enough time remaining in service to complete the course for which he or she has applied. After the completion of a course, an officer using TA must fulfill a service obligation that runs parallel with – not in addition to – any existing service obligation.
Coverage Amounts and Monetary Limits
The Tuition Assistance Program will fund up to 100 percent of your college tuition and certain fees with the following limits:
Not to exceed $250 per semester credit hour or $166 per quarter credit hour
Not to exceed $4,500 per fiscal year, October 1 through September 30
Tuition Assistance Versus the VA Education Benefits
While the TA program is offered by the services, the Department of Veterans Affairs administers a variety of education benefit programs. Some of the VA programs, such as the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2008, also known as the Post-9/11 GI Bill®, can work well with the TA program, as it can supplement fees not covered by TA. In addition, the Post-9/11 GI Bill® funds are available to you for up to 15 years after you leave the military. The TA program is a benefit that is available only while you’re in the service.
Tuition Assistance Benefits and Restrictions
Tuition assistance will cover the following expenses:
Course-specific fees such as laboratory fee or online course fee
Note: All fees must directly relate to the specific course enrollment of the service member.
Tuition assistance will not cover the following expenses:
Books and course materials
Flight training fees
Taking the same course twice
Continuing education units, or CEUs
Keep in mind that TA will not fund your college courses, and you will have to reimburse any funds already paid if any of the following situations occur:
Leaving the service before the course ends
Quitting the course for reasons other than personal illness, military transfer or mission requirements
Failing the course
Each military branch has its own TA application form and procedures. To find out how to get started, visit your local installation education center. Prior to your course enrollment, you may be required to develop an education plan or complete TA orientation. Be sure to keep the following important information in mind when you apply:
Military tuition assistance may only be used to pursue degree programs at colleges and universities in the United States that are regionally or nationally accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S Department of Education. A quick way to check the accreditation of a school is by visiting the Department of Education.
Your service’s education center must approve your military tuition assistance before you enroll in a course.
The Top-up program allows funds from the Montgomery GI Bill®-Active Duty or the Post-9/11 GI Bill to be used for tuition and fees for high-cost courses that are not fully covered by TA funds.
Eligibility. To use Top-up, your service branch must approve you for TA. You also must be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill® or the Montgomery GI Bill®-Active Duty.
Application. First apply for TA in accordance with procedures of your service branch. After you have applied for TA, you will need to complete VA Form 22-1990 to apply for Department of Veterans Affairs education benefits. The form is available online from the VA. Make sure you specify “Top-up” on the application and mail it one of the education processing offices listed on the form.
Other supplemental funding possibilities
Aside from using the MGIB-AD or Post-9/11 GI Bill for items such as tuition and fees not covered by TA, there are other funding opportunities available to service members including the following:
Federal and state financial aid. The federal government provides $150 billion per year in grants, work-study programs and federal loans to college students. The aid comes in several forms, including need-based programs such as Pell grants, subsidized Stafford Loans, Supplemental Educational Opportunity grants and federal work/study programs. You can also get low-interest loans through the federal government. Visit Federal Student Aid to find out more or complete an online application for FAFSA at no cost to you.
Scholarships are a great way to pay for college, and unlike loans they don’t need to be repaid. But winning scholarships takes time, dedication, intensive research, and hard work—especially for essays. It’s deadline time for college applications, so it’s important to start the search for free money now!
The Internet has made the search easy and free, and scholarship databases like Tuition Funding Sources (TFS) offers access to 7 million scholarships and $41 billion in financial aid. Start by filling in the registration; then with a click, the site searches to find any scholarships for which you might qualify. The more information you provide about yourself, the more matches TFS can make.
Undergraduate and graduate students can search for scholarships that fit their interests. The majority of scholarship opportunities featured on TFS Scholarships come directly from colleges and universities, rather than solely from competitive national pools – thereby increasing the chances of finding scholarships that are the best match for students. Each month TFS adds more than 5,000 new scholarships to its database, maximizing the number of opportunities students have to earn funding for their education.
Richard Sorensen, President of TFS, suggests these tips when applying for scholarships:
Apply for smaller scholarships
Many students look for scholarships that offer big awards but those are also the most competitive. Scholarships with smaller awards are easier to obtain because fewer students are competing for them. These scholarships can help with college costs such as books and living expenses.
Customize your essay
Scholarship judges can tell if you’ve adapted a previously written essay to meet their criteria. Customize your application and use the beginning of your essay to showcase your personality and set yourself apart. Remember, the time you are spending to tailor your essay can be rewarded with a college debt free future.
Submit scholarship applications early
Meet the deadlines and don’t wait until the due date. If the organization asks you to mail the application, don’t try to email it and if there is a maximum word count limit, don’t go over it. Most scholarship providers receive more qualified applications than available funds, so reduce your chances of being disqualified because you didn’t follow their requirements.
Follow your passion
Apply for scholarships that fit your passion and interest. TFS has scholarships for everyone. The more personal the scholarship the higher your chances of winning!
Increase your submission rate
The more applications you submit, the greater your chances are of winning scholarships. Treat applying for scholarships as a part-time job. Organize your free time and try to work on submitting one scholarship application every week and more during weekends. Remember if you spend 100 hours on submitting applications and win scholarships for $10,000 that is a really good part-time job!
TFS has been helping students for over 30 years and offers more than 7 million individual scholarships and more than $41 billion in aid. Visit tuitionfundingsources.com to learn more.
Employers on Campus provides job seekers and employers a better way to be introduced and to meet each other’s needs; and, it is also a business opportunity. They are far more effective than attending Career Fairs. Employers on Campus events are held on college and university campuses. It is an opportunity for students seeking internships, employment, and information about careers they are interested in pursuing.
On college campuses students are divided into building or quads particular to their degree they are seeking. So it is easy for us to invite students with majors or degrees in subjects that are appropriate for individual companies. It can be a specialized event, or an event open to all majors.
Companies are invited to attend our open Employers on Campus events. Each representative of those businesses is invited to speak to all the students attending. — Companies might briefly give an introduction to what their business does, examples of their clientele, a summary of open positions and internships, and perhaps a list of college courses you would like candidates to possess to qualify.
After the introductions, students can visit tables and talk to representatives from each company, perhaps to begin the interview process to become an intern or an employee.
Students and company representatives are introduced to our Soar to Success Training, based on the US Army’s “Master Resiliency Course,” which was adopted by the University of Pennsylvania for their new Graduate program in Positive Psychology. Decades of studies demonstrate that this program builds resilience, well-being, and performance; and equips individuals to bounce
back from adversity and to grow and thrive in their professional and personal lives.
A Command Sergeant Major from the US Army, who is a trainer of this program, is working closely with us and developing our program, which we call Soar to Success, for multiple uses. Our Positive Psychology emotional literacy and mind training program can be modified for various demographics: i.e. students, employers, veterans, athletes, medical professionals, pastors, marriages, etc.
This program has also been created as a business opportunity for US Veterans, and for civilians that want to work with our team. Our plan is to spread this into every demographic and region of our country, and even the world. We have an online, and a personal presentation and format.
We are always open to hearing ideas that can augment and better what we are doing.
It’s no secret that scholarships are a great way to find free money for college. While it’s now easier than ever to search for scholarship opportunities online, easier navigation on the internet also makes it easier for online scammers.
Unfortunately, many families have fallen victim to scholarship scammers who are stealing millions of dollars from families every year. Your goal is to get money for college, and it shouldn’t cost you anything to apply for scholarships.
The good news is that there are red flags to look out for to avoid becoming the victim of a scholarship scam. A general rule of thumb – if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Learn the signs to protect yourself against being defrauded and find scholarships that are right for you. Here are 3 tips to avoid scholarship scams:
Be cautious of fees: Applying for scholarships should not cost money. Be cautions of scholarships with application fees and never pay to get scholarship information. Scholarship databases are free and readily available online. Be on the lookout for phrases like “Guaranteed or your money back.” Scholarship websites can’t guarantee that you will win a scholarship because they’re not deciding on the winner. Legitimate scholarships won’t require an upfront fee when you submit the application.
Protect your data: Never reveal financial information such as your social security number, credit card numbers, checking information or bank account numbers to apply for scholarships. Scholarship scammers could use this information to commit identity theft.
Get a second opinion: If you’re still unsure, talk with trusted organizations about which websites they recommend. School counselors, librarians, financial aid offices, and local community organizations have knowledge and tools to guide you in the right direction.
To help cut through the clutter, TFS Scholarships provides free educational resources to ease the academic journeys of students and families around the country. Sponsored by Wells Fargo, TFS Scholarships has been helping students for over 30 years and offers more than 7 million individual scholarships and more than $41 billion in aid. Visit tuitionfundingsources.com to learn more.
I am a retired, wounded combat veteran—I joined the Army at 18 in 2002. I chose to join the military because I immigrated to the United States at the age of 7 and felt it was my duty to give back to a country that has given me so much opportunity.
I first deployed to Iraq with the First Calvary Division from March 2004 to March 2005 to Sadr City in northern Baghdad. My second tour was with the 101st Airborne Division from September 2005 to September 2006 to what is known as the Sunni Triangle of Death in Baghdad.
As a combat engineer, my main mission was route clearance and routine patrols. During both deployments, I was exposed to multiple firefights and more than 20 improvised explosive device (IED) blasts, one of which caused me serious injury, and I lost 9 of my comrades.
My injuries required that I be medically retired from the military. I was only 25 and, which such an abrupt exit, I had no plan in mind when I left the military. I decided to take advantage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill and enrolled in Rutgers-Camden University. However, I was still suffering from not only my physical injuries from the IED blast but also traumatic brain injury (TBI) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I had been profoundly changed and was no longer the same person I was before my military experience.
I was attending both school and regular physical therapy appointments, but I refused to seek help for my mental anguish. I was married, raising two children, and struggling to deal with life after Iraq. I began to withdraw from everyone, even from my kids, the most important people in the world to me. I started self-medicating, depending on alcohol and my pain medications to cope with daily life. The recurring flashbacks to my experiences in Iraq and memories of the comrades I lost were leading me to a dark place—I felt suicidal.
At that point, I decided I needed help; I was struggling to balance my home life, my education, and my well-being.
I started to take advantage of all the benefits that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) had to offer, as well as the help provided at Rutgers. The best thing anyone can do before leaving the military is to do research on all the benefits provided to veterans and enroll with the VA healthcare system. Adjusting to school after my military career was difficult, but Rutgers provided assistance to veterans. The best thing to do is to reach out to other veterans, don’t ever forget that you are not alone. Rutgers provided assistance, which was instrumental for me while attending school. I was able to graduate from Rutgers-Camden University with a bachelor in arts and today I work for the VA regional office in Philadelphia as a financial administrative specialist. There is a stigma in the military that having a mental illness is for those who are weak; however, it’s exactly the opposite. What I know now is that it takes a strong individual to realize they are struggling with mental illness and to seek the help.
Engility Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: EGL) recently announced the recipients of the first Engility CyberWarrior® Scholarship. The recipients will each receive funds to complete highly-desired cybersecurity certifications. With military veterans making up thirty percent of Engility’s workforce, the company partnered with the Center for Cyber Safety and Education to establish the cyber scholarships.
The awardees are Magdalena Seitz of San Bernardino, California and Leo Bastidas of Austin, Texas.
The CyberWarrior Scholarships include everything recipients need to be certified for a career in cybersecurity, including training classes, textbooks, materials and certification tests. The rigorous (ISC)2 certifications, which are regarded as the international industry standard, are required cybersecurity credentials by Fortune 500 companies, the Department of Defense and other government agencies.
Seitz is a U.S. Army veteran and the first in her family to attend college. She joined the military shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks as a light-wheel mechanic, and she quickly became interested in cybersecurity after learning about cyber vulnerabilities and the skills gap in combating cyberwarfare.
“Cybersecurity awakened a desire in me to continue learning, especially when the end reward is helping people understand and learn about the dangers found online,” said Seitz. “Winning this scholarship allows me to gain certifications in pursuit of my dream to work for the Department of Defense and eventually teach others about this career.”
Bastidas, also a U.S. Army veteran, says he joined the military to better himself. He first learned about computers and information technology from one of his older brothers who worked as a computer repairman. He honed his skills as an information security specialist through his deployments and works to share his interest in cybersecurity with others who are transitioning into civilian life.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to grow as an information security specialist and help others looking for a career in cybersecurity,” said Bastidas. “I was taught at a young age the value of making a positive impact on society, and this scholarship will provide me with the necessary skills to one day become a CTO of a Fortune 500 company.”
“We are grateful for our veterans’ commitment to continue to serve their country in a critical defense field like cybersecurity,” said Lynn Dugle, Engility CEO. “Combing through the applications and reading story after story of incredible strength, bravery and duty to country was humbling, and we will continue to look for ways to serve those who served us.”
At the end of the training, the veterans can enter into jobs with highly-technical cyber skill sets, such as security analyst, security engineer, security auditor and security architect. The program focuses on four (ISC)² certifications: Certified Information Systems Security Professional, Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional, Certified Authorization Professional and Systems Security Certified Practitioner.
“We are looking to serve a critical need of workforce development in cybersecurity,” said Patrick Craven, Director of the Center for Cyber Safety and Education. “Our veterans are deeply committed to our national security and are uniquely qualified for this mission.”
About the Center for Cyber Safety and Education
The Center for Cyber Safety and Education (Center), formerly (ISC)² Foundation, is a non-profit charitable trust committed to making the cyber world a safer place for everyone. We work to ensure that people across the globe have a positive and safe experience online through our educational programs, scholarships, and research. We are the charitable trust of (ISC)², whose dedication to our missionhas been an inspiring example to the cybersecurity industry. For more information on (ISC)², please visit www.isc2.org.
Engility (NYSE: EGL) is engineered to make a difference. Built on six decades of heritage, Engility is a leading provider of integrated solutions and services, supporting U.S. government customers in the defense, federal civilian, intelligence and space communities. Our innovative, highly technical solutions and engineering capabilities address diverse client missions. We draw upon our team’s intimate understanding of customer needs, deep domain expertise and technical skills to help solve our nation’s toughest challenges. Headquartered in Chantilly, Virginia, and with offices around the world, Engility’s array of specialized technical service offerings include high-performance computing, cybersecurity, enterprise modernization and systems engineering. To learn more about Engility, please visit www.engility.com and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
SALT LAKE CITY— TFS Scholarships (TFS), the most comprehensive online resource for higher education funding, has launched a free online toolkit to provide counselors, families and students with resources to help improve the college scholarship search process. The toolkit, available at tuitionfundingsources.com/resource-toolkit, provides downloadable resources and practical tips on how to find and apply for scholarships.
The launch comes in celebration with Financial Aid Awareness Month when many families are beginning the FAFSA process and researching financial aid options.
“We hope these resources help raise awareness around TFS and the 7 million college scholarships available to undergraduate, graduate and professional students,” said Richard Sorensen, president of TFS Scholarships. “Our goal is to help families discover alternative ways to offset the rising costs of higher education.”
The resource toolkit includes flyers, email templates, newsletter content, digital banners and table toppers which are designed to be shareable content that counselors, students and organizations can use to spread the word about how to find free money for college.
The newly revamped TFS website curates over 7 million scholarship opportunities from across the country – with the majority coming directly from colleges and universities—and matches them to students based on their personal profile, where they want to study, and stage of academic study. By tailoring the search criteria, TFS identifies scholarships that students are uniquely qualified for, thus lowering the application pool and increasing the chances of winning. By creating an online profile, students can find scholarships representing more than $41 billion in aid. About 5,000 new scholarships are added to the database every month and appear in real time.
Thanks to exclusive financial support from Wells Fargo, the TFS website is completely ad-free, and no selling of data, making it a safe and trusted place to search.
TFS Scholarships (TFS) is an independent service that provides free access to scholarship opportunities for aspiring and current undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Founded in 1987, TFS began as a passion project to help students and has grown into the most comprehensive online resource for higher education funding. Today, TFS is a trusted place where students and families enjoy free access to more than 7 million scholarships representing more than $41 billion in college funding. In addition to its vast database that’s refreshed with 5,000 new scholarships every month, TFS also offers information about career planning, financial aid, and federal and private student loan programs as part of its commitment to helping students fund their future. Learn more at tuitionfundingsources.com.
Transition isn’t easy, but student veteran organizations and services can help
By Deborah Circelli
After serving 12 years as a U.S Army infantryman, Stephen Walsh had quite an adjustment when he started at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University last fall. The 30-year-old’s world went from fighting in war zones on two deployments in Iraq and another two in Afghanistan to attending classes with 18-year-olds who were the same age he was when he enlisted.
“The year I joined the Army is the year they were in kindergarten. It’s an odd feeling,” said Walsh, now 31, pictured above, and an aeronautical science major studying to become a commercial airline pilot.
Dan McCabe, 30, who served in the Army for almost seven years as a mechanic, had a similar adjustment period when he left military life in April 2013. He was deployed to Iraq and additional duty stations working on Humvees and other vehicles.
Following service, McCabe spent three years at various jobs before enrolling at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach campus in the Homeland Security degree program. Embry-Riddle is the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace with campuses around the world and online degree programs. When McCabe first started, he went to class, did his homework, and went home. It felt almost like a job, he said, until he joined, and soon revived, the Student Veterans Organization (SVO), where he met more and more students who had his same military experience.
Both McCabe and Walsh found camaraderie at Embry-Riddle’s
Veteran Student Services, which provides a host of assistance, from helping veterans apply for benefits to tutoring, counseling, and textbook lending. Now, McCabe, who is president of the Student Veterans Organization, and Walsh, the veteran representative on the Student Government Association, are helping other veterans adjust and spreading awareness of services on campus.
“When you get out of the military, it’s a different mindset and lifestyle,” McCabe said. “We always had direction, and we had a purpose. That can be difficult to find when you leave. We try to help with that.”
The veteran leaders not only believe veterans can benefit from being more involved in the college experience but also hope the general student population will interact and participate more in activities with veterans to help bridge the age gap.
“Anytime there’s a veteran event, I want to try to get everybody involved. Everybody is an Eagle first,” said Walsh, who is also now in the Army National Guard.
About the Author Deborah Circelli is a communications specialist at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
The words read like something out of a well-crafted action thriller. But make no mistake, for 1st Lt. Mark A. Bodrog, the images are still real, the memories still fresh.
“As if the gates of hell had opened up, my Marines and Afghan soldiers started to pick up their rates of fire, sending hundreds of machine gun rounds down range at the enemy compounds,” writes Bodrog in his gripping new memoir, Second Platoon: Call Sign Hades: A Memoir of the Marines of the Combined Action Company. “They opened up with a barrage of 40mm grenades from their grenade launchers and rocked even more compounds with their Light Anti-Tank Weapon rockets.”
A former first lieutenant and infantry officer in the U.S. Marines, the Rutgers–Camden alumnus and graduate student looks back at the critical role his unit played supporting Operation Enduring Freedom 10.1, in the Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in his new book published by iUniverse.
Bodrog’s platoon of Marines and sailors was one of two selected by his battalion to integrate fully with the Afghanistan National Army Soldiers, in order to create a combined action company (CAC) capable of conducting counterinsurgency operations throughout their area of operations and adjacent battle spaces. As he recalls, the two platoons of U.S. Marines lived in a camp side by side with two platoons of Afghan soldiers in a one-to-one ratio.
“We did everything together, including eating, shaving, sleeping, fighting, and even taking classes together,” recalls Bodrog. “We became one fighting force against the Taliban.”
Bodrog’s platoon would carry out a variety of missions, including combat engagements and rescue situations, during the formation of the CAC. He felt that it was his duty and obligation to document the accounts of his men and these missions in order for the general public – along with the families of these Marines – to understand what life was like for these young servicemen in Afghanistan.
As he recalls, much of what he saw reported in the media did not match the reality on the ground, and typically focused on negative aspects of the war, rather than the selfless acts of heroism that he saw on a daily basis.
“My Marines embodied the American dream; they were the hardworking guys that you never read about,” says Bodrog, a longtime resident of Mount Laurel who now resides in Camden. “As a platoon commander, it was my honor, duty, and privilege to write this memoir for my men. They are heroes in every aspect, and their stories should never be forgotten.”
Bodrog is quick to point out that the memoir not only immortalizes his men, but the bold few who, in the wake of 9/11, fought to preserve America and the American way of life, and asked for nothing in return.
“The war in Afghanistan is considered to be America’s longest and least talked-about war,” shares Bodrog. “Less than one percent of America’s population answered our country’s call after 9/11 and even fewer made the life choice to become United States Marines.”
Bodrog adds that the memoir also has practical applications for the future of combined action companies. He explains that the counterinsurgency strategy was “designed to win the hearts and minds” of the Afghan people. Combined action programs had been earlier implemented by the Marines during the Vietnam War, which consisted of embedding Marines with local Vietnamese citizens. However, Bodrog says, his battalion took the tactic to the next level by creating a combined company of marines, sailors and Afghan soldiers. He maintains that the U.S. military can now benefit from the stories, training techniques and lessons learned during his battalion’s partnership with the Afghans.
“It was very frustrating, there was a lot of mistrust, and we went through a lot of friction, which I detail in the memoir,” he says. “It was a lot of trial and error, but we learned what worked and what didn’t. If we are ever in that counterinsurgency position again, it might help to save lives.”
Bodrog earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Rutgers–Camden in 2007. A year later, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in Quantico, Va. He has held the billets of platoon commander, weapons platoon commander, assistant operations officer, executive officer and company commander. He served two combat deployments to the Helmand Province, Afghanistan, with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment in support of both Operation Enduring Freedom 10.1 and 11.2.
His personal awards include a Letter of Appreciation, a Certificate of Commendation, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal, the NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Navy Unit Commendation, two Afghanistan Campaign Medals, and the National Defense Service Medal.
The ultimate resource guide assists vets with their transition to civilian life
America depends on its military veterans and their families to keep us safe at home and around the world. But their sacrifices come at a cost; every day in the United States, 21 veterans commit suicide and another 50,000 veterans are homeless.
Published in July, the new guide is the work of Washington, D.C.-based author and radio personality Jennifer Hammond in association with A Hero Foundation, aherofoundation.org, a nonprofit group based in Beverly Hills, California, formed to assist military veterans as they transition to civilian life.
101+ Resources for Veterans, which took two years to research and write, brings together nonprofit, for-profit and government resources that are available to veterans in such areas as employment, education, entrepreneurship, wellness, transitioning home after service, community and housing, GI support and scholarships, financial services and social services.
Already an Amazon bestseller, the book represents a way of giving back for Hammond, who was adopted by a military family as a teenager. She credits that family with encouraging her to finish high school and obtain a scholarship to complete college and graduate school.
Hammond’s goal was to create a book that is more user friendly than the cumbersome annual directory produced by the Department of Veteran Affairs, which lists many inactive websites and organizations whose voice mail boxes are full or do not return phone calls. Her book aims to feature the most effective organizations and will be updated to keep it current.
Jennifer Hammond is an author, real estate professional, SiriusXM radio talk show host and advocate for veterans. She has brought veterans issues to light while interviewing seven congressmen on Capitol Hill for the Veterans Legislative Forum, the Veterans Homelessness Forum, and the Military Family Housing Forum for radio shows at SiriusXM, where she hosts her own radio program on real estate. Hammond has been featured on ABC, Bravo and HGTV’s Flipping Boston. She is the granddaughter and great-granddaughter of career Army soldiers.